I will tend to disagree on this. The main portion of the Republican party always more focused on economic issues more than social/religious issues. This is because, even though the majority of religious people are Republican, there are differences in their religious stance concerning social issues. There are some pretty bedrock social/religious beliefs, such as the right to life/pro-life agenda. But, as a whole, many religions differ on other social issues. What you are referring to is that Santorum was vocally advocating his religious views during his campaign, whereas in the past, candidates were less overt with their religious beliefs. You can go back to Reagan and find that there has been no major shift in the Republican party stance on many of these issues, except that they have edged more liberal since then.